Tuesday, September 16, 2008

when books are like butterflies...












some images of one of the sound installations i presented in kortrijk belgium for the happy new ears festival, which opened a few days ago. the piece was installed in the old beguinage in the center of town on the second floor of the st. anne's hall, and is titled 'when books are like butterflies'. it was loosely inspired by georges rodenbach's book bruges-la-morte, not so much the story, as the atmosphere of the text. i began by notating every sound in the book as well as every color in sequence, and then used the lists to generate a sound work, a text work, and a set of images. the text and images appear in the form of dust jackets, which frame the speakers playing a 13 minute audio piece through 15 speakers (and the images are mostly from the backgrounds of some of the old music photos i typically run on airforms). rather than create an illustration of the text or a work that conceptually fits cleanly into a single resolve related to the text, the piece presents numerous paths through the same information, allowing the sounds in the book to manifest themselves in different forms (i.e. as sound, text, and image). my main interest is in creating a space of intimate wandering, where one has to get close to the books not only to read and see, but to begin to approach the activity of listening with the same intimate response to reading and looking at small things. even though they are birthed from the same source, the text sound and images do not inform each other as much as they offer different paths of experience.

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Blogger Unknown said...

As always, beautiful and fascinating. The photos remind me of my trips to europe - too few. just wondering, how large are the cover sheets? would you need to visit a few sound spots to see it all? I am assuming that there was one large sheet printed a number of times to make the 30 butterfly wings, but I suppose each could have been unique. thinking out loud, there were probably quite a few sound sentences - considering the bell subset we got. anyway, i am just fascinated by the details of doing something like this - it is so far from my experience, which makes these insights into your world so satisfying. jeremy

2:24 PM  
Blogger ArtSparker said...

There's a passage in George Macdonald's Lilith, in which his hero sees a white fluttering thing and grasps it, and it turns into an ordinary book - somehow not as alive once it is grasped.

9:31 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

artsparker...that sounds amazing! if you could find the actual quote from macdonald's book i'd love to see it.

jeremy... yes, i had one "poster" printed for the images, and one for the texts - each was around 18" x 24", and we trimmed them from different edges and corners, as well as having different size books, so that it seemed each was somewhat unique, and yes, the path around the piece yielded different bits.

10:53 AM  

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